Online presence in Search: Google offers more options for removing personal information

personally-identifiable information on Google Search

Previously, Google allowed people to make requests for the removal of personal information that could lead to financial fraud, including credit card numbers or bank accounts, from Search. Now, with the expansion of its policy that allows for the removal of additional types of personal information, the tech giant will enable people to request the removal of physical addresses, email addresses, and phone numbers.

Commenting on the topic, Google stated:

The availability of personal contact information online can be jarring — and it can be used in harmful ways, including for unwanted direct contact or even physical harm. And people have given us feedback that they would like the ability to remove this type of information from Search in some cases.

When we receive removal requests, we will evaluate all content on the web page to ensure that we're not limiting the availability of other information that is broadly useful, for instance in news articles. We'll also evaluate if the content appears as part of the public record on the sites of government or official sources. In such cases, we won't make removals.

Now, users will also be able to avoid the risk of identity theft by requesting the removal of information like confidential log-in credentials. Moreover, Google gave its users a reminder, telling them that the removal of personal information from Google Search does not mean it will cease to exist on the internet. It further suggested that, in such cases, users may want to "contact the hosting site directly".

With the expanded policy, users can have relief with the knowledge that they are equipped with the resources that will enable them to prevent people from accessing their accounts or their homes. Formerly, Google also released a policy that allowed kids and teens or their parents or guardian to request the removal of their images from Google Search results.

To learn more about the policy regarding the removal of personally-identifiable information from Google Search, head over to the dedicated webpage here.

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